The mission of the Rockford Wind Ensemble is to promote creative and healthy communities by enriching lives through music performance, music education, and artistic growth.
In 2001, a small group of musicians in northern Illinois met to discuss the possibility of forming a new, first-class wind ensemble in the Rockford community. Faced with the task of creating a new ensemble that would enrich the cultural scene, the group had several things to consider. The Rockford area was already home to several established community bands. The success of a more exclusive ensemble would depend on finding the right mix of talented musicians, locating a performance venue, acquiring funding, and eventually attracting an audience. After securing a core group of musicians, a performance venue, and funding, the group approached one of the area’s experienced high school directors, Kevin Jensen, to serve as their conductor and the Rockford Wind Ensemble performed its first concert in the spring of 2002. Since that initial concert, the RWE organization has grown to include two distinct performing ensembles and numerous community programs and partnerships.